Our Village Spiderman
Appachan, also called M J Joseph, did not even finish school.
Sometimes that’s not a bad thing to happen! Appachan actually became an innovator without completing his schooling. He came up with some neat instruments that could extract coconut milk and fruit juice. But his most popular invention was the tree climber, called ‘thandan’.
This is quite an interesting invention, as it has metal loops that keep the legs together, a handle at the top to keep hands in place and a pedal base. Loops around the trunk on the opposite sides, and a loop lifted with parallel movements of limbs help to haul up the climber. It reduces drudgery, and helps climbers to shin up with less energy.
Appachan won an award in the Second National Grassroots Technological Innovation and Traditional Knowledge Competition, organized by National Innovation Foundation (NIF-India) in 2001-2002.
He got another local award, the moniker ‘local Spiderman’!
Appachan climbed into North and South Americas quickly, when a distributor first ordered 25 units from him for distribution in the US. His workshop began to be used to manufacture them, and his products spread to USA, Maldives, Thailand, Australia, Brazil and Mexico. It is still growing, in fact.
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